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IRS – Experimental Design


Phase 3 – Experimental Design

  • Dates: October 1 – 14

Structuring the Data Collection Process

The next step is to generate the experimental design for the research study. Each project paper has laid out a theoretical basis for a study as well as an overview of past studies examining the same area of interest. Your job is to create the specific plan needed to collect your data. Think of this part as the “procedure” section of a typical lab report.

Format of Assignment

Create the following sections (labeled as shown below) and fill in the appropriate information as it relates to your experiment. This should be directly written into your lab notebook.


  • succinct, direct, and measurable purpose to your study
  • should be no more than three sentences total
  • should only include variables that you can actually measure
  • should NOT include what you are planning to connect to the results of your experiment.

Independent Variables

  • the variable(s) you directly control in this study.

Dependent Variable

  • the variable(s) you directly measure in this study after changing the independent variable(s)

Data Sample Size

  • the number of data points you will collect
  • indicate how many trials for each variation of the experiment

Data Table

  • sample data table showing the structure of your data collection
  • include a few trials of imaginary (but realistic) data that COULD be obtained in this study.


  • detailed procedure of the actual steps to collect (not analyze) your data
  • written in a way that another person, with help, could perform your experiment.


  • detailed timeline of data collection


This entry was posted on 2015-09-30 by in IRPlans1516, IRS and tagged , , .


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